Many women wonder about weight loss and exercise post-delivery. The following are the answers to some of the most commonly asked postpartum diet and exercise questions.

How soon can I start working out and dieting after pregnancy and delivery? Is it a myth that I have to wait until my first 6-week checkup?
Gaining weight during pregnancy is part of a normal pregnancy. For the average woman, a weight gain of 25-35 lb is considered normal and healthy. So after pregnancy, it's important to get back into shape.
Most moms plan to get rid of their maternity clothes back as soon as possible after delivery and try to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight. However, your body first needs to return to pre-pregnancy hormone levels, blood volume levels, and water levels. This can take up to 12 weeks and needs to be taken into consideration before restricting calories and exercising to lose weight after baby.
When can I start trying to lose weight seriously after birth?

The big myth is that you have to wait at least 6 weeks after delivery to do anything: sex, exercising, losing weight. Nothing is further from the truth. As soon as you are ready, and that could be as soon as you get home, you can start making some changes and improvements to make you feel healthier and lose weight. Since each delivery and each pregnancy is different, ask your doctor first if there are any limitations.
Your Healthy Diet
The very first step is to look at your diet and to eat healthy food. Do not follow a strict diet in limiting what you eat or how much you eat, especially if you are breastfeeding. You need the strength and energy that a healthy diet can provide, and your baby needs these nutrients as well. Instead of restricting yourself, focus more on your eating habits. Eat more fruits and vegetables, add whole grains, eat smaller meals throughout the day and reduce the processed foods you consume. Most important of all, drink plenty of water.
Physical Activity
As soon as your doctor gives the okay, and many will do so well before 6 weeks, increase your physical activity. Start slowly at first; listen to your body and if something hurts, try to keep the activity to a level where it feels comfortable. A good way to add physical activity into your daily routine is by walking with the stroller every day. If you are breastfeeding, you will feel most comfortable by feeding before you attempt more strenuous physical activity. Gentle strength training, yoga, swimming, jogging, and aerobic exercise are all good choices.
Get Enough Rest
This cannot be emphasized enough. Rest decreases stress and less stress allows you to focus more on what’s important. Sleep when the baby does. When your baby is sleeping, take advantage of the time to rest while they do. Have someone help you if you can afford it. Try not to overdo it and don’t have unrealistic expectations about postpartum weight loss.
Your Calories and Eating
You should not reduce calories immediately after having a baby. The first is the extra caloric intake needed for the body to heal. This is especially true with women who have delivered via C-Section. The second is breastfeeding. The body needs extra calories to produce the milk needed to feed the baby. Reducing the caloric intake too far will reduce the amount of milk available to the baby.

Essential Calories
Mothers who have just given birth need to keep calorie total at a minimum of 1500 in order for the body to heal and deal with the postpartum changes. Most diets will lower the caloric intake below this amount so adding in an extra snack or two is a healthy choice.

Weight Loss Supplements

Weight loss supplements are a bad idea postpartum. There are many ingredients included in weight loss supplements that are not approved for women who are pregnant or nursing. These supplements should not be taken if the mother is breastfeeding baby.
But how long will it take?
There is no rush. Some women lose weight quickly, others may take some time. There is no “normal.” How fast it will take depends on many factors, first and foremost how much you gained during pregnancy. It took 9 months to get to your weight, so don’t expect to lose it in a week or so.